Feel like you’ve been taking great care of your skin, but still experiencing annoying breakouts? Distilled water could be the missing piece to your skincare puzzle. Read on to find out how washing your face with distilled water for acne is an effective and simple hack for clear skin!
Turn the tap off and listen up!
Causes Of Acne
We can’t start this article off without a bit of background of what exactly can cause your breakouts.
Of course, there could be a lot of factors that go into why exactly you are getting acne. Things such as genetics, eating acne causing food, and the wrong skincare products/routines for your skin may have a lot to do with your causes of acne.
If you feel like you are doing everything right and still are experiencing those pesky breakouts, washing your face with regular tap water from your bathroom sink might be contributing to the problem!
Why Washing Your Face With Distilled Water Heals Acne
Here is a claim that might give you a lightbulb moment: tap water is causing breakouts and irritation on your skin and body due to pollutants it contains and a pH that differs from what the skin prefers.
When you switch to using distilled water, it is much friendlier to the skin!
Here is a few examples of the science of the switch:
Skin Loving pH Of Distilled Water
We all use tap water to bathe in and wash our face/hands in at the sink, right?
If you have especially “hard” tap water:
…it contains some dissolved mineral salts, most likely (primarily) calcium and magnesium carbonates and bicarbonates. The anions of these salts are slightly basic, consuming H+HX+ ions and thereby raising the pH.https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/5125/what-chemicals-are-in-tap-water-that-gives-it-a-slightly-basic-ph-level
This means tap water is at a higher pH than what our skin needs.
Quick refresh: our skin is protected by the acid mantel which thrives at a pH “all in the acidic range but with a broad range from pH 4.0 to 7.0.” 1
Tap water will bring the pH of the skin up to around a pH of 6 which disrupts the barrier of skin and the beneficial microflora of the skin that thrives at an acidic pH. 2
This can lead to skin problems like acne!
“Changes in the pH are reported to play a role in the pathogenesis of skin diseases like irritant contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, acne vulgaris and Candida albicans infections.” 3
Combine that with the minerals sitting on your skin and it is a recipe for acne breakouts.
It is a much different story if you use distilled water to wash your face! Distilled water in this study had pH similar to pH of normal skin of normal people (pH 5.4-5.9) 4
This keeps the barrier functioning as normal as possible, almost like a shield against skin problems.
If you feel like you have doing everything you can for treating breakouts, what do you have to lose by trying one more acne hack?
Even if you don’t have acne, using distilled water to wash your face can help you in your anti-aging efforts by keeping the skin barrier strong!
How To Use Distilled Water For Acne
Washing your face with distilled water is as easy as it sounds. Just wet your face with it, use your regular face wash, and then rinse with it as well!
Buying bottled distilled water is relatively cheap: it is under $1.50 per gallon at my local grocery store.
To use it economically, don’t just pour it straight from the jug. You’ll end up wasting a lot of distilled water when it all waterfalls out as you try to wet your face. It also is pretty heavy and bulky to maneuver.
Instead, try this! Pour a glassful of distilled water to wash your face with, and then to rinse with. You could also buy a spray bottle to mist the face completely. Mist enough to provide enough lather from the face wash to remove makeup or dirt and grime from the day. Then do the glassful method to rinse it all off easily!
Success Stories Using Distilled Water For Acne
My Personal Story
After a recent noticable change in my city’s tap water, I noticed that I was getting a lot of breakouts that were hard to control even with a Vitamin C serum everynight.
After a week or two of seeing no relief from my normal routine, I decided to use distilled water to wash my face.
Immediately, I welcomed using the water as it had no smell, unlike the heavy chlorinated smell of my normal tap water. (And when it doesn’t smell like chlorine, it smells like swamp water.)
The water felt different on my skin: it created more bubbles and lather from my cleanser, and my skin felt way more “squeaky clean” after washing – but without the dry side effect!
After washing, I noticed that my skin didn’t feel tight – I didn’t have to run for the moisturizer immediately after washing like I normally do! I still did apply my Vitamin C serum and moisturizer though.
After a few days, my skin was noticeably calmer and less inflamed. The breakouts were having a much better time healing and my skin overall felt softer, more moisturized, and glowy.
The Best Water To Wash Your Face With
So now, you might see why switching to distilled water is the best option to wash your face with!
Washing Your Hair With Distilled Water
You can totally wash your hair with distilled water too! Even your body. Amazon sells some great filter shower heads that you can use in your bathroom to make it easier and more accessible than carrying around gallons of distilled water.
They are really affordable too!
Click the pictures to link to some of the highest rated filters on Amazon!
This will greatly benefit your body and hair, as well as your face when you filter out the contaminants.
I learned from my hair stylist that a big reason why my hair was getting brassy was from the iron in my shower water. It was giving my highlights a peachy orange tone.
(If you notice a pink/rust buildup on your shower tiles/grout, this means you have iron in your water too!)
If you avoid this, you avoid the brassiness if you have highlighted hair, and you also avoid those mineral contaminants sitting on your strands. Get sleeker, shinier, and more moisturized hair that can better respond to your shampoo, treatments, and dye jobs.
Also think about this: if tap water is bad for your face, it’s pretty bad for your body too! Switching from tap water to bathe in will give you more hydrated skin. This is great for anti-aging efforts too!
Would you be wiling to switch to washing your face with distilled water for better skin? Let me know in the comments!
1,2. Lambers H, Piessens S, Bloem A, Pronk H, Finkel P. Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Oct;28(5):359-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2494.2006.00344.x. PMID: 18489300. LINK
3. Schmid-Wendtner MH, Korting HC. The pH of the skin surface and its impact on the barrier function. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2006;19(6):296-302. doi: 10.1159/000094670. Epub 2006 Jul 19. PMID: 16864974. LINK
4. Kulthanan, Kanokvalai et al. “The pH of water from various sources: an overview for recommendation for patients with atopic dermatitis.” Asia Pacific allergy vol. 3,3 (2013): 155-60. doi:10.5415/apallergy.2013.3.3.155 LINK
This content is for informational purposes only, and what has worked for me personally based on my own opinions. I am not a professional/medical doctor, and you should always consult your doctor or dermatologist on what will work best for you. The information presented here is not legitimate, official advice from a professional. If you choose to rely on any information from this blog, you do so at your own risk. Please refer to the “Blog Disclaimer” tab in the menu bar to read more information and the official disclaimer statement.